The Wisconsin Articles of Organization is the LLC form you fill out and file with the state to form an LLC.
Follow the steps in our How to File the Wisconsin LLC Articles of Organization guide below to get started.
Or simply use a professional service:
Northwest ($29 + State Fees)
Filing the Wisconsin Articles of Organization is Easy!
Step 1: Get Your Articles of Organization Forms
You can download and mail in your Wisconsin Articles of Organization, or you can file online. For this first step, choose your preferred method below.
Option 1: Access the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions’ online services. Scroll down to the bottom and select “Click here to start filing.”
- OR -
Option 2: Download the Articles of Organization PDF from Wisconsin’s Department of Financial Institutions. This form will need to be mailed to the Department of Financial Institutions.
Step 2: Fill Out the Articles of Organization
In this step, we will help you complete the Wisconsin Articles of Organization form. There are six main “Articles.”
You will need to know the following information to complete the form:
- Entity Name
- Registered Agent Name and Registered Office Address
- Governing Authority Type
- Organizer Information
Having a creative and smart business name is important but not as important as having a legally correct name.
When you choose a name for your business, you have to make sure the name:
- meets Wisconsin naming guidelines.
- is not already in use by another business in Wisconsin.
Follow the Wisconsin Naming Guidelines:
- Your name must contain the phrase “limited liability company” or “limited liability co.” or end with one of their abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
- Your name cannot imply that the LLC was organized for any non-permitted purpose.
- Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
- In some states, certain restricted words (e.g., Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual to be part of your LLC.
- Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state. This includes Wisconsin reserved names.
Check Name Availability:
Is your name available in Wisconsin? Make sure the name you want isn't already taken by doing a name search on the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions website.
To learn more about naming your business, including best practices and creative branding, visit our How to Name a Business in Wisconsin guide.
Not sure what to name your business? Check out our Business Name Generator.
Register Your Domain Name:
We recommend checking to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to make a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.
Find a Domain Now
Registered Agent and Registered Office
A registered agent accepts and sends legal documents on your LLC’s behalf. When you register your Wisconsin LLC, you are required to list your registered agent and your registered office.
Your registered agent can be anyone 18 years or older that lives in Wisconsin. Your registered agent must always be available at the registered office during regular business hours.
Your registered office address cannot be a P.O. box.
To learn more about choosing a Wisconsin registered agent, read our How to Choose a Wisconsin Registered Agent guide.
To learn more about what a registered agent does and how to choose one, read our What is a Registered Agent guide.
You must state whether or not your LLC will have managers. If you do have managers, you must list each initial manager. If your LLC will be managed by its members, then you must list at least one member.
To learn everything you need to know about choosing your management structure, read our
You must provide the names and addresses of each organizer of the LLC.
Step 3: File the Articles of Organization
To register your LLC, you will need to file the Articles of Organization with the Department of Financial Institutions.
There are two ways to file your Articles of Organization:
- Complete the form online.
- Submit a hard copy by mail.
Option 1: Access the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions’ online services. Scroll down to the bottom and select “Click here to start filing.” Then, fill in the required fields and submit.
- OR -
Option 2: Download and mail in the Articles of Organization to Wisconsin’s Department of Financial Institutions.
State Filing Cost: $130 online, $170 by mail.
State of WI-Dept. of Financial Institutions
Milwaukee, WI 53293
Turnaround Time: Filings are generally processed within five days and can be expedited for an additional fee.
Create an Operating Agreement
In Wisconsin, you aren’t required to have an Operating Agreement to officially form an LLC, but it's still a good idea to have one. You can start your operating agreement before, during, or after you file your Articles of Organization.
Your operating agreement will be kept in your LLC’s private business records; you do not file it with the state.
Use our free Operating Agreement Tool to draft a customized operating agreement for your LLC.
Get an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a social security number for your LLC. You will need an EIN if you want to hire employees or open business bank accounts.
You can get your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our What is an EIN article.
Open a Business Bank Account
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential to protect your business' corporate veil. When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued.
For reviews on some of our most trusted business banks, visit our Best Banks for Small Business review.
Get Licenses and Permits
When you are registering an LLC, you need to determine if your business needs any licenses or permits to remain compliant. On the federal level, there are a handful of business activities that require licenses or permits.
Find out how to obtain necessary licenses and permits for your business or have a professional service do it for you:
- Federal: Use the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guide to federal business licenses and permits.
- State: Apply for or learn more about licenses, permits, and registration with The State of Wisconsin Department of Revenue’s Starting a Business website.
- Local: Contact your local county clerk and ask about local licenses and permits
Brand Your Business
The strongest and most memorable businesses are built on a solid brand. When developing your brand, think about what your business stands for. Customers and clients are looking for companies that have a compelling brand, as much as they are shopping for high-quality products and services.
Creating a logo for your business is vital for increasing brand awareness. You can design your own unique logo using our Free Logo Generator. Our free tool can help you design your own unique logo for your new business idea.